hello, and welcome to "newsline." first, a look at the headlines. at this hour. iraqi forces launched an offensive against militants in an effort to regain control of the country. families of japanese abducted to north korea have demanded the country take a tough stance ahead of negotiations. japanese tea producers are enjoying a surge and demand where coffee has long been key.
iraqi forces launched an offensive to take background and regain their country. soldiers moved in to the ski of tikrit backed by helicopter gunships and been met with resistance. tikrit is the burst place of former president saddam hussein. sunni militants took control this month. government troops have encircled the city but they're having trouble retaking control. the government has support of local sunni tribes opposed to prime minister malaki, who is a shia. al-maliki is under pressure from in and outside of iraq to step down. members of parliament are scheduled to convene on tuesday. they will start discussions on forming a new government. but they are divided over who should lead the country. iraqi leaders hope fighter jets from russia will help them turn the tide. they're promising to carry out more airstrikes on militant positions. russian officials delivered the first five of 25 fighter jets on saturday.
iraq's air force commander said the planes will be used in operations in coming days. military leaders want to use the jets to recapture territory including mosul, the nation's second largest city. they are making their push as muslims begin fasting for the holy month of ramadan. some hope they can find a way to seek reconciliation between shias and sunnis. technicians for the organization for prohibition for chemical weapons say they need more time to destroyed syria's stockpile. they say it'll take at least four more months to dispose of the arsenal. syrian authorities handed over the last of their declared weapons earlier this month. technicians hoped to destroy chemical agents by the end of the month. they will destroy the chemicals on board a u.s. ship and at commercial facilities in a number of countries. but officials with the organization fear syrian leaders have not disclosed all their chemical arms. chlorine is a common chemical and not on the list of bad agents.
the officials suspect chlorine gas has been used as a weapon in fighting between syrian government and opposition forces. investigators have been unable to confirm the reports. consumers across japan cut back on spending ever since they started paying more in consumption tax. still, factory workers are keeping production lines humming. ai uchida joins us with more from our business desk. what do you have this hour? >> catherine, we heard of these fears before and after consumers paid more tax in april. the latest numbers do show consumers are buying fewer big ticket items. cars, for example. but that hasn't stopped factory workers from keeping their lines running. officials at the economy ministry say production is up. industrial output rose in may by 0.5%. it snapped back in april when it
dropped more than 2%. ministry officials say the main reason is workers produced more vehicles and electronic parts and devices. they expect lingering effects of the tax hike will cause billion production to fall this month by 0.7%. let's check on markets now. let's follow what's happening on the markets. mayu, what can you tell us? >> thanks, ai. the dollar is at a one month low on the yen and that's pressuring the markets. l let's look at the closing june 30th. the nikkei reached 15, 070. the neck kay opened in positive territory and some bought back stocks after it dropped 1.4% last friday. the upside momentum was limited because today is the last day
for quarterly settlements. some shares were bought. aiful and acom saw big gains after japanese lawmakers want to change interest automakers can charge. mazda was down 0.84% and nissan down 0.73%. they will release their output figures soon and we'll keep track whether those figures can help list share prices. let's move to currencies. the dollar is at the weakest level for a month trading at o 101.27-30. they are selling the dollar ahead of the settlement deadline and euro likely weaker against the yen and traders are buying safer currencies like the yen and still concerned over the situation in iraq.
eurozone inflation fake later today may provided guidance later this week. the euro is trading at 13 138178-26. we may see more foreign investors buying japanese stocks because they're quite positive about prime minister abe's economic reform plan. that's it for me. back to you. >> thanks for that update. japanese and u.s. negotiates have come to tokyo to work out common ground trying to work out their differences in the transpacific partnership free trade talks. they're pressing japanese to open their markets to more farm products and discussing ways to increase imports of american autos. japanese negotiates agree on the need to reduce tariffs on imported beef and pork but they want to protect domestic farmers. they have proposed a measure to temporarily raise tariffs if
imports surge. u.s. is demanding strict conditions on any such safeguards. americans want to help u.s. auto makers sell more cars in japan. they want the japanese to relax rules on imports. japanese governments sources say the gaps remain wide. they don't believe the two governments will reach a breakthrough this week. chief negotiators for the ttp are scheduled to meet next month in canadian capital, ottawa. officials in argentina have been fighting a long running battle with their creditors and time is running out. they are due to make an interest payment on their debt but people in the financial community are worried they might default again. in 2001, argentina defaulted on debts worth about 100$100 billi. since then the country has been covering interest payments. on friday, officials trying to repay creditors who agree to reduce payments. earlier this month, the u.s. supreme court ruled they have to
pay debts to u.s. investment funds before settling with other creditors. argentina protested the ruling by placing ads in newspapers in major creditor nations. argentines have a 30-day grace period to make payments. but if they can't reach a deal with creditors demanding full payment, the country will have to default. j jnz -- japanese officials, they also find themselves under a mountain of debt more than double the domestic gross product. they are taking a breather before issuing new debt. the government issued about 4:30 billion worth of new bonds in the year that ended in march. that's about $20 billion less than initially estimated. one big reason was higher tax revenues. companies earned more and paid more to the government. tax revenues topped estimates by
about $16 billion. as a result, the government racked up a surplus last year of about $14 billion. officials will spend more than half of that to redeem outstanding bonds. japanese prime minister abe says he wants to slay some economic demons. he's written an articles in a british newspaper to explain his plans to revive the economy. of his article in the "financials times" is titled my third arrow will fell japan's economic demons and attract foreign investors and promote growth. he says the negative impact in the increase in consumption tax will only be temporary. he notes more people have booked reservations for the summer holidays. abe points out the job market is improving and wages are rising even at small and medium sized companies. he says the economy must recover before japan can return to
fiscal health. japanese tea producers are enjoying a surge in demand from a country where coffee has long been king. people are changing to coffee for what they see a healthier brew. >> reporter: southern california is the land of clean living and fitness fanatics, it is where many of america's health trends are born. and health conscious people here in los angeles are developing a taste for tea. this popular tea shop on the west coast has all kinds of tea. black teas, white teas and ulongs. one of the most popular teas, is green tea. customers say they're drawn to its health benefits. it's packed with vitamins and
antioxidants. exports of japanese tea tripled in value over the past ten years and young affluent consumers in the u.s. are a big part of that growth. this shop carries dozens of kinds of green tea. they include tea from one of the most famous green-tea growing regions in japan. >> japanese first blush that just came in a couple days ago. it's a beautiful tea. very very light. and very very fragrant. >> i drink a lot of breakfast tea, green tea. i think there's healthy aspect for it, too. >> executives with starbucks have been looking to grow beyond
coffee. the fast growing tea market has been irresistible. last year, starbucks bought tea van da for a reported $60 million. officials say think hope to have more tea shops in the next year. >> this is the time we expect to see the greatest tea export in the next five years. i think japan is positioned to especially benefit from the growth of green tea. >> several thousand tea buyers and sellers gathered in los angeles in may for the world tea expo. the event featured products from kenya, sri lanka, china and of course, japan. president of tokyo-based tea supplier, his company has more than a century of history. he brought a range of premium
green teas that his company produces with growers across japan. he has been working with one of the growers on something new for the u.s. market. they're producing flavored green teas with subtle scents such as plum, kelp and shiso. one blend is particularly unusual. this one has a chocolate banana flavor. kyboshi say they may be experimenting with unorthodox flavors but they are careful to keep the deep rich taste of the tea. >> the banana chocolate is surprisingly good. a nice balance, not overwhelming, too strong. >> reporter: he says he receives many inquiries about the blends and he's feeling confident. >> translator: sales of green tea are rising in the u.s. we see this as major opportunity to expand our customer base.
the action at the world cup in brazil is heating up. as the netherlands face mexico in the round of 16. they're in the 48th minute. the netherlands kept up the pressure. in the 88th minute, westerly schneider grabbed a great equalizer after a knockdown from a corner. then in added time, keeping his nerve, puts the netherlands through to the quarterfinals.
the second knockout of the day pitted a determined costa rica team against greece. costa rica scored in the 52nd minute. but with the clock running down, greece fired an equalizer to take the game into extra time. and a scoreless 30 minutes brought a penalty shootout. after the costa rican keeper saved greece's fourth spot kick, another player slotting home a 5-3 win, putting the central americans through. next up for costa rica, a quarterfinal meeting with the netherlands. host country brazil meets colombia on friday. it's the first time in the quarters for both colombia and costa rica. and that's today's world cup wrapup.
japanese government officials have launched a protest against their north korean counterparts. they say launching of missiles towards the sea of japan on sunday posed a grave threat to aircraft and vessels in the area and comes at a time of delicate negotiations between the two countries. officials in tokyo say there have been no reports of damage. they believe two short range ballistic missiles were fired near the city of wonsan on the eastern coast. japanese prime minister shinzo abe has instructed officials to work with the united states and south korea to analyze information about the incident. defense minister called the launches a serious matter for neighboring countries.
>> translator: for north korea to launch missiles in the midst of various negotiations is a step in the wrong direction. >> japanese and north korean negotiators last month reached an agreement. the north koreans said they would look into the fate of japanese abducted by agents from pyongyang as well as other missing people. an official with north korea's foreign ministry has told an nhk crew in pyongyang that the launches were probably part of regular military exercises. north korean and japanese negotiators have been planning to meet in beijing on tuesday. the officials said the talks will likely proceed as scheduled. relatives of japanese people abducted to north korea want the government to take a tough stance in negotiating with the north for the return of their loved ones. the relatives held a rally in fukuoka, western japan, on sunday.
heading the group of the abdu abductee abductees' families said they are beginning to see some signs of resolution but they are still at the starting line. his younger sister was abducted in 1978. >> translator: i'm sure we'll have a difficult road ahead since we're negotiating with officials from that cunning nation, north korea. they have deceived us many times. but this year, we want to see results. >> saito is the elder sister of another abductee. she talked about their more, who died in january at the age of 92. saito says she wants the government to work hard so she will have good news to tell her late mother. the relatives met the minister in charge of the abduction issue. they urged the government to make progress as the situation has reached a critical stage.
now, in india, a pair of building collapses have left people missing and unknown number dead. police have detain ed police protection in one collapse. an 11-story being built fell to the ground. at least 11 people were killed. rescue work is continuing with dozens of workers believed trapped under the rubble. visiting the scene on sunday, the state chief minister blamed poor construction and disregard for safety regulations. she says those responsible will be brought to justice. on the same day, a four-story apartment building collapsed in the capitol of new delhi. children died. police officers say residents
died also. a number of buildings in india collapsed because of poor construction. >> living through the test 60 years ago of a u.s. hydrogen bomb. >> he told an audience in tokyo about his experience working on a fishing boat in the marshall islands. he and his shipmates were exposed to radiation when american military commanders carried out the tests in 1954. >> translator: many of the crew died without being sure about what had happened to them. we all felt the exposure had an effect on us. earlier this year, he visited the marshall islands for the first time since 2004. he told an audience there that radiation levels remain high and people still can't return. he said some of the former residents are worried about their health and he said the problems caused by the nuclear tests have not been resolved.
hundreds of thousands of people in hong kong have had their say. they voted in an unofficial referendum on an electoral reform in defiance of china. chinese authorities plan to introduce a direct election in 2017 and allowed voters to choose the city's chief executive. members of a beijing backed committee will nominate the candidates. pro democracy advocates say that will block candidates critical of china. they asked voters to choose among three proposals, all of the choices would enable ordinary citizens to run in the election. the organizers said more than 780,000 people cast their ballots on line and at polling stations in the ten-day period through sunday. that's more than 10% of the population. >> i sincerely hope that authorities in beijing will listen to the voice of the hong kong people. >> a hong kong government official said the reform plans do not comply with the laws governing the region. that could draw a further backlash from residents.
we're seeing clear skies in tokyo, time to check the weather around the globe. >> it's the rainy season in japan but this year, it's something unusual. instead of persistent heavy rainfall we're seeing daytime heavy thundershowers almost every day. we have impressive pictures coming out of tokyo. people in tokyo, surprised by a sudden change of weather yesterday. 45 millimeters of rain fell an hour in some locations. some 10,000 households were left without power because of frequent lightning strikes. many people were stranded as 80 trains were halted. streets just outside of our studio were also flooded. now the reason for the bad weather is that we still have
cold air in the upper atmosphere that is crushing with heat. creating unstable conditions. the cold air is pushing down to the south, pushing the frontal system to the south. so we may see some daytime thundershowers once again for the eastern half of the country from the region up into hokkaido. we're concerned about these risks today. flooding, strong gusts, hail as well as lightning. a couple of people were struck by lightning the other day, so if you see any black clouds approaching you, make sure to take shelter immediately. as opposed to the east, it is mostly sunny over the western half of japan as well as northern half of china. but the rain continues to fall heavily in the south of the river valley. the island could be hit the hardest. you could be getting quite heavy rain today as well and more heavy rain on the course for you for bangladesh and northeast india. and temperatures are quite soaring in the northern areas of asia, reaching 35 degrees, 30 degrees in seoul and 31 in kyoto with partly sunny skies.
now, across the u.s., we can see the swirling clouds. it hasn't organized yet but it could become a tropical storm within the next couple of days. as it does so, it will produce some strong gusts as well as high waves over the east coast of the u.s. for the next several days. meanwhile we are still seeing severe weather in the mid-part of the u.s. this area is cooler air from canada is crashing with hot and juicy air from the gulf of mexico. iowa is experiencing the worst of it. we've got two reports of tornadoes along with baseball sized hail because the system is a slow-moving one, these areas will continue to deal with severe weather as we go into monday. and because rain will continue to fall heavily and in iowa, so flash floods are going to be a very high concern and typically about 1,700 people were injured because of flash floods in the u.s. because of dry weather, dry thunderstorms could happen in the four corners region that
could cause wildfires in the locations and more rain is in the picture at least for the next several weeks in the southwest and in fact a third of california is still under exceptional drought conditions and no rain in sight for at least the next couple of days and temperatures will be quite high over 40 degrees in several places, like fresno and sacramento and heat stroke could happen so please keep hydrated. and don't get too much sun. >> finally over brazil, rain could fall over several areas in the country but weather in the central areas and temperatures 27 degrees in brasilia. here is the extended forecast.
>> bringing you the newest music and the hottest acts from the asian music scene. this time we will feature biggest rock band mayday. in our exclusive interview, we find out about the secrets behind mayday's music. we'll also be giving you a detailed look at southeast's asia biggest music festival directly from thailand. more than 120,000 people attended the event.